When a baby sleeps on your chest, it feels like she’s in the safest place in the world. But why does she prefer this position?
The reason for this is quite simple, and it has to do with your heart rate. When a baby is lying on your chest, she can feel your heartbeat right underneath her ear, making her feel secure and comforted.
This comfort was seen in animals, who often slept beside their mothers or other pack members to feel safe. And since humans have evolved from animals, we have similar physical contact and comfort needs.
Studies show that breastfed babies sleep more soundly than formula-fed babies because they have lower levels of stress hormones in their bodies.
Why Do Babies Like To Sleep On Your Chest?
There are a lot of reasons why babies like to sleep on their parent’s chest. It’s not just because it’s warm and cozy — it’s also about safety.
Aroma Of Mother’s Womb
Babies have spent nine months in the womb, and then, when they’re born, they’re placed in an incubator that is clear and protects them from germs and other dangers. They’re also swaddled tightly, which keeps them safe from injury if they accidentally roll over and can’t right themselves.
After several weeks or months of this protection, babies realize that the world outside the incubator isn’t as dangerous as they thought it might be. But until that point, some things still make them nervous: being alone; being exposed to bright lights; being around strangers; and being separated from their parents by anything more than a few feet away.
Sense Of Security
Not only does this give them a sense of security because they know where mommy or daddy is at all times, but it also allows them to fall asleep without any distractions occurring around them (such as bright lights or loud noises).
Comforting For Them
It’s probably because they find it very comforting. When you hold your baby or place him on your chest, he feels the warmth of your body and heartbeat.
Hear The Sound Of Parent’s Voice And Heartbeat
He can hear the sound of your voice and heartbeat, too. Unsurprisingly, babies fall asleep within minutes of being placed on their mother’s chest.
How Long Can A Newborn Sleep On Your Chest?
The time your baby sleeps on her back depends on how long she can stay asleep. The longer the sleep, the better. Babies usually start sleeping on their backs when they are about 4 months old. Putting them down on their backs reduces the risk of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be placed on their backs to sleep until they are 1 year old or until they can roll over onto their stomachs without assistance or pushing up on their hands.
Most newborns will sleep anywhere from 3 to 6 hours at a time while they’re lying next to you with skin-to-skin contact. This means spending time together during the day while holding your baby close and ensuring she’s comfortable and happy in that position. You’ll want to keep checking in with her so she doesn’t become too hot or cold during this time together.
Is It Safe If Your Baby Wants To Sleep On Your Chest?
Sleep on your chest can be safe for your baby, but some important factors must be considered.
- Ensuring your baby can breathe properly and is not at risk of suffocation is important. When a baby sleeps on your chest, ensure that their airway is clear and that clothing, blankets, or other objects do not cover their face. Also, be aware that if you fall asleep while holding your baby, there is a risk of accidental suffocation, so it’s best to have someone else present or move your baby to a safe sleeping surface.
- Considering the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is important. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs on a firm, flat surface free of soft objects, including blankets and pillows. So, while it may be comforting for your baby to sleep on your chest, following safe sleep guidelines to reduce the risk of SIDS is important.
How and Where Should a Newborn Sleep?
Newborns should be placed on their backs to sleep on a firm, flat sleep surface free of soft objects, such as blankets, pillows, or toys. Here are some guidelines for safe sleep for newborns:
- Use a firm, flat sleep surface
Your baby’s crib, bassinet, or play yard should have a firm, flat surface for them to sleep on. Ensure the surface is free of soft objects, including blankets, pillows, and toys.
- Place your baby on their back to sleep.
This is the safest position for your baby to sleep, as it reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Avoid bed-sharing
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents not share a bed with their newborn. Bed-sharing increases the risk of suffocation, entrapment, and SIDS. But use baby cribs or Pack’N’Play
- Keep your baby’s sleep area close to you
The AAP recommends that newborns sleep in the same room as their parents but not in the same bed. This can help reduce the risk of SIDS and make attending to your baby’s needs easier during the night.
- Dress your baby appropriately for sleep
Dress your baby in a one-piece sleeper or wearable blanket that is appropriate for the temperature in the room. Avoid using blankets or other loose bedding that can cover your baby’s face and increase the risk of suffocation.
How do I stop my baby from sleeping on my chest?
It may take some time for your baby to learn how to fall asleep independently in her crib, but she must do so as soon as possible. When she begins sleeping through the night (meaning she sleeps from 10 pm until 6 am), you may find that she no longer needs to sleep on your chest during the day. However, if you’re finding it difficult to break this habit and she still wants to sleep on your chest at night, then there are a few steps that can help:
Put her down, drowsy but awake.
If your baby is used to falling asleep on your chest, get her used to falling asleep without this physical contact. Put her down when she’s drowsy but still awake. You can do this by rocking or walking with her until she’s ready to fall asleep. Then lay her down in the crib gently and leave the room.
If you’re worried that she won’t sleep without you, try swaddling your baby and putting her in a dark room for a few minutes when she wakes up before feeding time. Once she’s sleeping soundly in the crib, try leaving again for just two minutes (and then come back). Every time she wakes up from a nap or at night, she repeats this process until she falls asleep more consistently.
You Can Sleep Sound After Your Baby Falls A Sound Sleep
The explanation for this behavior is that the baby got used to hearing your heartbeat, which is relaxing for him, and nice, and babies know when somebody loves them. This sleeping position also gives him a good view of your face, so it’s great for him to look at you and watch you in his dreams.